The High Five: Why Being an Arkansas Fan in 2012 Was That Good

Ronald Martinez

Yesterday we went through the tough times of 2012. Now we turn our attention to the good.

When 2012 comes to mind, a bad taste will be left in your mouth. Before 2013 really gets going, here is a list to help you remember the good that 2012 brought us as Razorback fans.

1) Cotton Bowl win- Being a member of the SEC prevented Arkansas from going to their second-straight BCS bowl game, meaning the Cotton Bowl would have to do. The Hogs played one of their most complete games all season in a winning effort against the Kansas State Wildcats, 29-16.

Knowing that Tyler Wilson was coming back to Fayetteville and watching an immensely improved defense under new defensive coordinator Paul Haynes gave gave Hog fans hope for what the next season would bring. It set up Arkansas being a dark horse title contender.

2) Bret Bielema hire- To pull off this hire, a three-time conference champion coach with a 63-14 record, was brilliant. All season there was speculation who would become the next man in charge. We had a "Coach Tracker" on this site to gauge the success of coaches who had been mentioned as a candidate for the head coaching position. Then Jeff Long got his man in Bielema, a former hog farmer.

It was finally a moment of pride for a program that had experienced very little since a motorcycle accident. This hire was huge, even bigger may be the coaching staff Bielema has put together.

3) College World Series- The Hogs entered and finished the season as the No. 3-ranked team. The 1-0 win over Baylor after Jake Wise's two-out RBI single in the 10th inning to get to the Omaha probably would have been enough to make this list. Add ending South Carolina's winning streak at the College World Series record 12-game winning streak at the CWS and you earn the No. 3 spot in this year-end list.

The baseball team won its first two games in the CWS since 1979 and put itself in contention for a spot in the final series before falling in an elimination game to the Gamecocks. The third-place finish tied the program's second-best finish in history.

It was also coach Dave Van Horn's most successful season as manager with 46 wins.

4) Track Triple Crown- If you are a new Arkansas fan, or one whose interest lies solely in football. Venture out and you will discover that Arkansas has a track and cross country program second to none. While that may not sound too flashy, the men have brought home 40 national championships. That makes UCLA basketball's run in the 1970s look like child's play and helps Arkansas rank fifth in terms of number of national championships won by a school in all sports.

In 2012, the men swept their 13th conference triple crown (winning cross country, indoor and outdoor track) since joining the SEC in 1992. Fans should turn this on any Alabama football fan who thinks they "dominate" football.

5) BJ Young Decides to stay- While missing the post-season was one of the most disappointing collapses of the year as a Razorback fan, having freshman guard and All-SEC Freshman team member, Young, stay was good news to end the season.

Honorable mention: Gymastics into the Super Six and finishing in the top 10 (gymnastic's Final Four); Tyler Wilson's and Cobi Hamilton's record breaking seasons; Joe Adams, Jake Bequette, Greg Childs, Jarius Wright drafted; Women's basketball to the second round of the NCAA tournament and finishing top 25, Moses Kingsley and Bobby Portis signing, Jeff Long hirings, Bielema's coaching staff.

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Thanks to all of the contributors to this site who helped me compile these lists and for the content you put out in 2012 on this site. Also, a big thank you to Doc Harper, who has been a driving force in this site's unprecedented success.

Finally, a note of appreciation to you, the readers, for clicking our links and reading the site. It was a heck of a year.

Here's to 2013...

Cheers

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